That FIRST step is the BIG one

riverfloodDo ever wake up and see just one thing out in front of you – impossibility?  The difficulties pile up like a wall of boulders. You know you should tackle the task of finding a way but sometimes the temptation comes to say, “I’m done. I quit.” I met a man living on the streets who once had a family, a job, a life; then he ran head-long into some really hard times and he just dropped out. Now he exists, by choice, sadly in the grip of addiction’s haze. That is a radical example.

Most of us will not choose to abandon life, but too many will resign inwardly. There is a better choice which we learn in an ancient story about God’s people. He led them to a place where they had to rely completely on Him.

That is why faith is so very important to me!  I claim no insight into all of the mysteries of life, but I hold onto the promise that I never walk alone, that those things that appear ‘impossible’ to me, are God’s opportunities to shape my life and faith.  So, I pray for courage, for steady faith, for a willingness to let Him lead as He wills.

After Moses died, Joshua prepared to lead God’s people into Canaan, the Promised Land. They were ready to move but there was one BIG problem. Right in their path flowed the Jordan River. To complicate matters, the Bible  says it was ‘at flood stage.‘  Joshua, who was an old man with a lot of experience in ‘walking by faith’ told the people –  “Think of it! The Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. The priests will be carrying the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. When their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will pile up there in one heap.” (Joshua 3:11-13, NLT)  It is a great challenge but I want us to take note of one little line … “when their feet touch the water.”   They had to step into the river before the miracle happened!

40 years earlier, their parents had come to a similar moment, faced with the difficulty of possessing the Promised Land. That generation refused God’s invitation to let Him lead and they died as wanders in the wilderness. Joshua knew that lesson, one of the few survivors of that generation. So, he pressed them. What did they do?  They choose to believe God. And sure enough, when they stepped into the water, the river stopped flowing! Joshua summarizes the occasion saying, “This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always.” (Joshua 4:24, The Message)

Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the first priest to step into the water. I wonder how far in did he wade before the water receded? Knee deep? Waist deep? Why wouldn’t God have just stopped the river’s flow that morning so they could just walk across? We have no answer for that question but there is a life lesson here for you and me. When God says, “Go,” and it appears that there is no way, it’s time to step into the water! Obedience will open a way forward – from where we are into a new and wonderful place of His purposes.

Is God leading you toward a flooded river place?
Are you following obediently or screaming protests?
Follow faithfully.
Keep your focus on the Lord who goes before you.

When you are on the other side of that ‘impossible’ situation, you will look back with new faith. This word from the Word is a song for the tested, one that anticipates the fulfillment of His promises.
Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power!
The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.”
(Psalm 98:1-3, NLT)


To God Be The Glory

To God be the glory great things He has done
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the life gate that all may go in

 Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

 O perfect redemption the purchase of blood
To every believer the promise of God
The vilest offender who truly believes
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives

 Great things He has taught us
Great things He has done
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder our transport when Jesus we see

Fanny Jane Crosby © Words: Public Domain

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